Over this month and the end of April, we have seen Goldman Sachs add a cryptocurrency trading desk for Bitcoin futures. This announcement has some positive effects on the markets however, as it was expected, the announcement provided to stark surprise to any investors, therefore things remained quite stable. Whilst this now seems to be old news, further reports are out today that suggest this could be the start of something far bigger.
Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (or, ICE Inc.), are the owners of the New York Stock Exchange. A report by Bloomberg highlights that ICE Inc. could very well be working on a cryptocurrency trading platform which will allow traditional New York Stock Exchange investors to begin to trade Bitcoin and eventually, other cryptocurrencies too. This new project could see other similar stock exchanges follow suit, with more and more investment companies expressing an interest in cryptocurrencies, as the markets recover from the March depression. Such works will see cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, driven into the mainstream for sure.
One of the major barriers for cryptocurrencies entering traditional exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange is of course the security risk associated with trading cryptocurrencies. Through their inherent vulnerability to theft via hacking, many firms including those owned by ICE Inc. have moved away from cryptocurrency integration on the basis that they cannot fully ensure assets are entirely safe whilst stored on digital exchanges. Therefore, it is of course expected that this project by ICE Inc. could see some enhanced security parameters introduced into their exchange, should of course these rumours be true.
According to Bloomberg:
“Wall Street firms began offering clients futures from Cboe Global Markets Inc. and CME Group Inc. in December, but the financial industry has broadly shied away from selling Bitcoin itself. One issue is that virtual currencies can be stolen by hackers, a problem that has arisen before at some major crypto venues. That means traditional Wall Street firms looking to facilitate investments have to figure out how to hold such assets securely.”
Whilst this integration seems unlikely to happen for now, these reports do suggest that some sort of project work is at least underway. A cryptocurrency branch for the New York Stock Exchange would provide a bridge between virtual and traditional investments, giving more people the opportunity to benefit from both styles of investment. As I have mentioned, Bitcoin is of course the most likely to be added first, but, as the exchange proves its worth, other altcoins would soon be added, really creating a path for cryptocurrencies to enter the mainstream.
For now, we should continue to watch ICE Inc. for further announcements, and of course, we should start to consider the possibility that we might see other international exchanges such as the London Stock Exchange follow on from this very soon indeed.
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